Book Review: House of Ravens (House of Royals Book 5) by Keary Taylor

Alivia is back home in Silent Bend having somewhat recovered from her time in Cyrus's control, but the trouble she faces isn't over yet because an army of Bitten vampires is still amassing and planning to take her down, not to mention she's discovered a shocking new secret about her very own father. Alivia and her House---her family---will have to stand together if they're going to find the answers, figure out who's leading the Bitten, and end this oncoming war before any more innocent lives can be taken.

Book Review: House of Ravens (House of Royals Book 5) by Keary Taylor | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy, new adult, vampires
Title: House of Ravens
Book Number: Book 4 of 5
Pages: 231
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

This was another enjoyable book in the series with no major issues that I easily sped through in a day. And one of the things I liked most was sweet relationships Alivia had with her House members. The biggest message throughout this series has been that your family doesn’t have to share your blood, that your family are the people who have your back, whether they’re related to you or not. I loved Alivia’s unique relationships with the people in her life and how touching they were.

Another great thing throughout all the books has been how imperfect all the characters were. They all had actual flaws to the point that sometimes they weren’t very likeable, but in the end I was still rooting for them because they felt like real people.

This was also a nicely done ending. It wrapped up the important stuff without overdoing it and gave the characters, and thus also the readers, some happy moments after all the struggles they’d dealt with.

But the thing is, while this book was good, it felt kind of anticlimactic, especially considering it was the end of the series. I actually liked that the author didn’t focus too much on the fight scenes and battles, but it seemed like not that much really happened, and the final showdown fell a little flat for me. It was all wrapped up a little too easily and quickly, I guess.

Alivia herself also fell a little flat for me. I loved her in Books 1 and 2, then she started changing for the worse in Book 3, then she was broken and realized how much she changed in Book 4, and then she started trying to be a better person in Book 5. But after being broken like that and trying to be a better person, she seemed more timid and unsure of herself. It was a realistic and well-done character arc, so I give props to the author for writing it well and taking that risk, but I personally loved Alivia more in the beginning and was disappointed that she never quite got back to being that person. But just because I didn’t necessarily love the changes, that doesn’t mean other readers won’t because, as I said, it was still believable.

But although this wasn’t my favorite of the five books, I do still recommend the series if it sounds like your kind of thing as it was well-written, character-driven, and gripping and had a very intricate and different take on vampires!


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  1. Greg

    I like the idea of vampire families/ clans and the idea that you choose your family, it doesn’t just HAVE to be blood related is nice. Sounds like those relationships are the heart of the book, and I imagine they get tested pretty good. And I do think authors sometimes struggle in these longer series with how to wrap them up. Too bad the ending of this one wasn’t as kickass as it might have been.

    Are the Born and the Bitten like natural vampires and those who have been turned?

    Glad this one was good!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I feel like you did a really impressive job of figuring out the gist of this series with having never read it lol. Yes, the family-like relationships are the heart of the book, and they sure do get tested. And I agree, I like the idea that you choose your family and love when books explore that.

      Yep, the Born are the ones who inherit it (but they’re human first and then when they die they rise as a vampire), the Bitten are turned. And there are some differences between them. And some Borns are Royals, so it’s a rather unique system she created.

      It was too bad the ending didn’t have as much oomph as I wanted, but it at least wrapped things up nicely and gave closure on the important things. Thanks!

  2. Lola

    This sounds like a good series that continues to be good as it progresses. And I love that message that family doesn’t have to share your blood. And that’s interesting how you mention some people aren’t likeable, but at least they feel real. That’s sometimes more important than liking them.

    I am glad to hear this was a good ending if a bit anticlimactic. This reminds me that I have book 1 of this series and should read it eventually.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I really like that message too. And I mean, all the characters are likeable in the end, but there were parts when they weren’t, or sometimes they acted in ways I didn’t like, that kind of thing. So it was a good balance.

      Thanks, and yeah, I remember that you still have that first book lol. You’ve been following my reviews on this series since I posted the first one, so at least you know what it’ll be like 😛

  3. sjhigbee

    This sounds like a really good series – I’m a sucker for spec fic with a strong family ethos at its heart. Thank you for sharing, Kristen.

  4. Bookworm Brandee

    I’m sorry this wasn’t an epic ending for the series, Kristen. It’s kinda disappointing when a series you’ve enjoyed falls short in the wrapup, but at least you weren’t completely let down. I still plan to read this series and I look forward to comparing notes with you on it. I like over-arcing character growth but I also like a strong heroine and it seems Taylor left Alivia a little lacking there. I’m very curious to know about Taylor’s spin on vampires though. Oh, and I adore ‘family by choice’. 😉

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, a little disappointing, but still not bad. To be honest, although I did genuinely enjoy this series, I loved her Eden Trilogy series more. If you’re at all into sci-fi, you should check that one out too, see if it sounds like something you’d like. As for this one, I read some other reviews and other readers seemed to love how Alivia turned out, and she was a good person and still a leader and all that, but I just felt like she wasn’t as ingenius and make-things-happen in the last book as she was in Book 2 when I totally raved over her character. The family by choice thing was great though 🙂